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Two police teams to investigate child’s murder

Updated May 26, 2019

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In this file photo, the family of Farishta protested against alleged police inaction in Islamabad on Tuesday. ─ Photo courtesy Basit Sherani Twitter
In this file photo, the family of Farishta protested against alleged police inaction in Islamabad on Tuesday. ─ Photo courtesy Basit Sherani Twitter

ISLAMABAD: Two teams have been constituted to investigate the murder of a 10-year-old girl that sparked public outcry in the capital.

Read: Family protests after body of missing girl found, three suspects arrested

The police have so far been unsuccessful in their attempts to identify those responsible for the child’s death, a police officer told Dawn, adding: “We are still in the dark and clueless, despite all possible efforts.”

Guidelines are being taken from the investigation of similar cases in other parts of the country, including Lahore, the officer said.

“The investigators are hopeful that geo-fencing of the area will help them pick up suspects, one or a few of whom may be the culprits,” the officer said.

Two teams have been formed to investigate, with assistance from the Criminal Investigation Agency, Counter Terrorism Force, Special Branch and Homicide Unit, police said.

The data of everyone living in the vicinity of the victim is being collected, and DNA sampling of people living in nearby areas has also begun, they said. A special team from the Punjab Forensic Science Agency is assisting the Islamabad police, and the DNA sampling and polygraph tests of the suspects are being conducted as well.

The police working the case have finished geo-fencing various areas and the data of around 500,000 calls has been maintained. This data is being analysed, police said. The police have so far investigated around 200 suspects, and further investigations are underway.

The victim, identified as 10-year-old Farishta, disappeared from outside her house on May 15. Her family tried to register a case, but were ignored and mistreated by the Shahzad Town police.

The police eventually registered a case on May 19, when politicians from the tribal districts met with the police and threatened to petition the Islamabad High Court against them. The victim’s body was found the next day in a wooded area in Tamma village.

The victim’s family protested the police’s negligence and demanded action against them, leading to the registration of a case against the Shahzad Town station house officer and investigation officer.

The prime minister has also taken notice and sought a report from the IGP and DIG.

DIG (Operations) Waqaruddin Syed and police spokesperson Inspector Khalid Awan were not available for comment.

Published in Dawn, May 26th, 2019